The Green Bay Packers got their wide receiver in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. They selected Christian Watson of North Dakota State with the 34th overall pick. In the third round, the Packers added Sean Rhyan, an offensive lineman out of UCLA with the 92nd pick overall.
The draft will conclude on Saturday with rounds four through seven.
Here are 10 things we learned from day two of the Packers 2022 NFL Draft:
- GM Brian Gutekunst Was Aggressive To Get His Preferred Wide Receiver
The Packers surprised a lot of people when they didn’t make a trade in the first round to guarantee that they’d get one of the top receivers in the draft. After day one, Gutekunst said he tried to make trades but the asking price was too high.
But Gutekunst did make a trade in Round 2. The Packers traded both of their second round picks (53rd and 59th overall) to Minnesota for the 34th overall selection.
Rumors circulated that the Packers tried to trade up to the final pick in the first round which the Vikings had, but Minnesota didn’t want the Packers to have a fifth-year option on that player. They did agree to send the second pick in the second round to the Packers which means that Green Bay will only have Watson for four years under his rookie contract.
- Watson Has Outstanding Physical Tools
The Packers love to draft athletes in the early rounds and Watson more than fits the bill. He stands 6’4” and weighs 208, giving him the size the Packers look for in a wide receiver. He also ran a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash so he has the deep speed to stretch the field.
There is good news and bad news when it comes to his technique. Watson is an outstanding deep receiver who tracks the ball in the air very well. North Dakota State ran a run-heavy offense and Watson was a good run blocker as well, something Matt LaFleur loves in his receivers.
But, Watson did have 16 drops in college and needs to work on his concentration. He also came from an offense that didn’t run a lot of complex pass patterns and played against lesser competition in college.
But he shined in Senior Bowl against many top prospects in this draft and was voted the most difficult receiver to cover by the DBs at the game.
Watson may need a little more time to adjust to the NFL, but the skills and athletic ability are definitely there.
- Watson Has Versatility
In addition to his receiving skills, Watson showcased other talents in college. He ran the football 49 times, much like Deebo Samuel, and gained 392 yards on those carries.
He was also a return specialist, something the Packers have a definite need for. He scored two touchdowns during his college career on returns and that could give him a chance to make an immediate contribution to the Packers while he learns the intricacies of the pro offense.
- The Packers Have Had Success Drafting Receivers in the Second Round
While critics like to point out that the Packers haven’t selected a wide receiver in the first round of the draft since Javon Walker in 2002, the Packers have done well picking wideouts in the second round.
Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams were all second round selections by the Packers and all of them developed into outstanding receivers and made at least one Pro Bowl.
- Watson’s Father Was Also Drafted by the Packers
The Packers also drafted Watson’s father, Tim Watson in 6th round of the 1993 NFL Draft. Tim was a defensive back out of Howard University.
Tim Watson never played in a regular season game for the Packers but spent four seasons in the NFL playing for the Chiefs, Giants and Eagles from 1993-1997.
- Sean Rhyan Has the Versatility the Packers Like Along the Offensive Line
Rhyan is a three-year starter at left tackle for UCLA but because of his shorter arms, he is better suited to play guard in the NFL.
Jon Runyan Jr. and Royce Newman were also college tackles who were best suited for guard in the NFL but they can all move over to tackle in a pinch if necessary.
- He Is a Strong Run Blocker
Rhyan gets off the snap of the ball quickly and has the lower body strength to move defenders back on running plays. He also has the mobility to pull on sweeps and screens and get to the second level to block linebackers or defensive backs.
- His Pass Blocking Is Better Suited to the Interior Line
Rhyan shows good form as a pass blocker and has the strength to handle bull rushers coming at him on the inside. He is also smart and has good recognition skills when picking up stunts and blitzes.
His shorter arms cause him difficulty if he was asked to pass block against speedy pass rushers coming off the edge which is why he’s better suited to play guard in the NFL.
- What This Means for Elgton Jenkins
If Rhyan established himself at guard, the Packers would be free to move Elgton Jenkins to right tackle once he’s healthy. That would give the Packers three guards in Runyan, Newman and Rhyan to fight for the two starting guard positions. It also helps them address the departure of Lucas Patrick.
- The Packers Still Have Six Picks
Entering day three of the draft on Saturday, the Packers have six more picks to make as of right now. That includes the 132nd and 140th overall picks in round four, the 171st pick overall in the fifth round and three picks in the seventh round at numbers 228, 249 and 258.
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